The Sea Glass Nail Trend Brings Beachy Vibes To Your Fingertips

Mermaidcore mania continues.

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On TikTok, the girlies are taking to the shorelines to hunt for sea glass, the beautifully smooth remnants of old glass bottles that can be found on the beach. It’s such a treat to find a piece — and it instantly makes any vacation a 10/10 — so imagine how fun it would be to have sea glass-inspired nails.

With over 1.1 billion views on TikTok, sea glass manicures are the next summery nail trend you need to know about. Mermaidcore is having a moment, after all, thanks to the release of The Little Mermaid. Just look at the rise of mermaid nail art, the siren makeup trend, and the mermaid decor aesthetic — clearly folks are on a mission to surround themselves with all things sea-themed. While mermaid manis are more about pearl accents and seashell-style art, sea glass nails are a much subtler way to lean into the oceanic trend, so you can take just a hint of the beach wherever you go.

If you’ve seen sea glass online or IRL, then you know it’s found in an array of gorgeous sky blues, seafoam greens, milky whites, and even seashell pinks. What sets it apart from regular glass is the frosted effect, thanks to the way it's been tumbled in the salt and sand. To recreate the look on your fingertips, all you have to do is apply a matte top coat so your nails look like they’re straight from the sea.

Keep scrolling for 11 sea glass nail art ideas that are perfect for your summertime manis.


Crystal Edges

To get a set of nails that look exactly like sea glass, TikToker @borablueprint paints on two coats of milky blue gel polish and a matte top coat to create that frosted effect. For an even more realistic finish, she then adds a 3D border around the nail using clear glue, along with tiny dots of glue to simulate droplets of water.


Blues & Greens

Grab all the blues, greens, and teals in your polish collection and paint every nail a different hue. Ten minutes later and your tips will look like a collection of sea glass. Extra mermaid points for getting a jelly mani in these hues.


Jelly Nails

Jelly gradient nails are so summery, they pretty much demand a trip to the beach. Pick out a few different shades of green and blue and overlap the colors as you apply them to your nails. Experiment with a base layer like light green then a dark blue on top, then seal it off with a semi-matte top coat.


Green Gradients

The brand @cirquecolors shared an idea for sea glass nails using jelly polish in a bright, Caribbean sea blue-green. To get the look, paint on a lime green shade then blend it with a bright aqua color while the polishes are still wet. Slick on a matte top coat for that milky sea glass effect and embrace your inner Ariel.


Seashell Decals

To lean into mermaidcore, add tiny gold shell details and flecks of teal glitter for a touch of bling. It’ll bring to mind sparkly sea spray or pool water.



If your entire vacay centers around collecting seashells, then you’ll be into this shiny, pearlescent mani. It’s the perfect combo of the mermaidcore and sea glass nails, and it’ll look just as good on vacation as it does at home. Ask your nail artist for iridescent polish and 3D acrylic details.


Pretty Pastels

Creator @thepaintbrushnails showed off a gorgeous pastel take on the sea glass look. The base color is a strawberry milk pink polish with sheer colors applied vertically, one right next to the other, to create an ombré effect. Go for pinks, reds, and oranges on one nail and blues, greens, and purples on the next.


Frosted Glass

Painting each nail a solid pastel hue is also an option — no ombré skills required. Go for a lilac purple, a seashell pink, a seafoam green, and a sky blue to mimic your collection of sea glass. Use matte polishes or apply a matte top coat.


Teal Tips

To get a glossier glass effect, creator @gwmnailempire swipes teal nail polish on the underside of a clear acrylic nail, instead of on top. Once applied, the color shines through in the coolest way.


All Blue

This manicure is a perfectly subtle tribute to the beach, which is ideal if you don’t want to be too mermaid-y. The translucent blue brings to mind misty mornings in coastal towns.


Water Droplets

To really play up the water effect, dot on some 3D bubbles using clear nail glue for a funky design that makes it look like you just stepped out of the ocean.


Wavy Baby

Make your nails look like they’re actually under the sea with a wavy design like this that features the three staple sea glass hues.

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